With COVID-19 having catalysed change across all facets of business, Momentum Financial Planning (MFP) has embarked on a strategy that will see it move towards a new national channel-led structure.
Danie van den Bergh, CEO of Momentum Financial Planning, comments: “MFP will be moving away from a geographical management structure, with a strategic focus on establishing key channels as a critical step in the execution of our new plan. We strive to become the most competitive, accountable, and professional in-house financial planning advice business in South Africa.”
Following in-depth research on the challenges all agency forces face globally, van den Bergh, says this undertaking involved a range of diverse stakeholders. “We aim to co-create a future-proof strategy, with the goal of growing our footprint and providing advisers with the right knowledge, skills, tools and solutions; ultimately placing more financial advisers in front of more clients.”
MFP has appointed three Channel Directors who will spearhead this new strategic focus, with the main task of implementing support and structure formulation for each channel. According to Van den Burgh, this is a strategy that will be rolled out over a three year period, culminating in June 2024.
With that in mind, MFP announced the following leadership appointments in its newly defined channels. Willem van Zyl has been appointed as Channel Director of the Independent Contractor Channel (I-Channel), Francois de Ravel has been appointed as Channel Director of the Franchise Channel (M-Channel), while Aubrey Faba has been appointed as Channel Director in the Employed Adviser Channel (Red Channel).
Willem van Zyl – Channel Director of the Independent Contractor Channel
Van Zyl is a seasoned industry and Momentum stalwart. His extensive experience includes a solid legal and advisory background, combined with tenure and success in sales and distribution, making van Zyl well-placed to take the lead in guiding financial advisers within independent practices to greater optimisation and productivity.
He joined Momentum in February 2003 as a Marketing Adviser and later moved into the role of Regional Manager. Thereafter, he joined MFP in the capacity of a General Manager. Subsequently, he moved into the role of Head of Business Development during 2014 and played a significant part in investigating and understanding the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) proposals and the impact thereof. He represented Momentum Metropolitan Holdings at various forums in this regard, helping to shape the company and industry feedback to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
In August 2017, he rejoined the sales team as General Manager of Highveld Province and later took over the responsibility for the Inland Province, which also included Gauteng. Along with his ability to build sustainable and trustworthy relationships with new advisers joining the organisation, van Zyl’s vast network of relationships within the existing network of advisers will be of great assistance in his new role.
Francois de Ravel – Channel Director of the Franchise Channel
De Ravel is passionate about the Momentum business and is known for acting in the best interest of the industry, advisers and clients. De Ravel is an industry-qualified and seasoned professional who has served in the financial services sector for 38 years. He started his career in 1983 with First National Bank, where he served for 11 years in general banking, followed by a three-year stint where he specialised in Home Loans and Property Finance. He built a strong foundation in various fields, including banking, business law, and loans and securities.
In February 1994, de Ravel joined Southern Life in the role of Specialist Employee Benefits Consultant. With the merger of Southern Life and Momentum Life in 1998, he held his first regional management role in the employ of Momentum, leading Employee Benefits for the KwaZulu-Natal province.
In 2000, he was appointed in his first General Manager role and served in the Employee Benefits field for 21 years. In 2015, de Ravel joined the retail distribution team under Momentum Distribution Services as General Manager, followed by his appointment as MFP General Manager for coastal areas in 2018.
Undoubtedly, his vast experience, tenure and commitment to serve the industry and all its stakeholders will stand him in good stead to facilitate and enable prosperity among experienced and new-to-industry advisers.
Aubrey Faba – Channel Director of the Employed Adviser Channel
Faba is new to the MFP organisation and takes the role of Channel Director in the Red Channel, which is dedicated to the vesting of new-to-industry advisers.
As a registered financial adviser, Faba has held various leadership positions and has extensive industry experience. He spent several years at Liberty Life where he climbed the ranks to the role of Regional Head, where he was responsible for expanding the business’ footprint.
With a hugely successful track record and known as being a dynamic individual, Faba’s combination of skills are the key to his success. Through his collaboration and engagement with various stakeholders, he will plan and execute strategic initiatives. As a brand ambassador for MFP, Faba will develop plans and tactics for the achievement of footprint growth through the acquisition of advisers.
Van den Bergh says, “We look forward to the unfolding of our strategic intent under the guidance and strong leadership of our new Channel Directors, who will play a pivotal role in driving our mission.”
In addition, as a result of COVID-19, digital transformation and technology has accelerated, and in response to this, MFP is strategically on the right track to invest in digitalisation, with a view on ensuring seamless integration and convenience of business processes. “In essence, the focus should be on retention of the adviser and client by giving the adviser the support to engage and service their large client book with appropriate seamlessness in technology and processes. This should enable them to focus on growing their practices by showcasing their knowledge and skills acquired over many years in the role of a financial adviser,” says Van den Bergh.
Over the coming months Van den Bergh promises further updates on the formulation of teams and structures aligned to each channel. “I have no doubt that our new strategic initiatives will enable each channel and financial adviser to differentiate themselves in a way that will ensure huge growth within their practices and businesses.”